Seems like August is the month of new cameras! If you’ve been reading along, you’ll know that I typically shoot with a Canon AE-1. You’ll also know that I’ve been having issues with the ISO dial having a mind of its own, a Napoleon complex if you will, of pushing itself to 1600 (sometimes even 3200) when it needs to stay at 400.
Needless to say, I haven’t really shot in awhile to save myself the headache. Gaffer’s tape can only hold things so well for so long. Last week a present came in the mail, and lo and behold it was a new film SLR, a Canon A-1! Andrew bought it off of eBay with a Macro 35-105 lens and a flash as a surprise. How I missed shooting film. eBay is a great place to find older cameras, especially if they’ve been CLA’ed.
So what exactly is the big difference?
Let’s list what the A-1 has that the AE-1 doesn’t have:
- Both Aperture and Shutter Priority Modes.
- Full Automatic Mode.
- Greater Shutter Speed range on the low end, down to 30 seconds. I do a lot of night shooting and that is nice.
- Two Self-Timer settings.
- Digital Meter Reading with more info in the viewfinder (the AE-1 has a needle reader which I loved.)
- The Action Grip that fits over the battery door.
- The ability to use the Motor Drive MA.
This camera was a huge deal when it first came out in 1978. It retailed at $625 with a lens. Andrew bought at Rolleicord at Service Photo a few days ago so we took both cameras out for a spin yesterday. It’s very important to test out any antique camera you purchase right away.
First roll, so good! I was afraid there would be light leaks but it proved me wrong. No camera operations or surgery for this one. Look out for the next post in which Andrew will be guest writing about his experience with the Rolleicord pictured here and some photos from his roll that is waiting to be picked up tonight. 🙂